Aligning Academic and Spiritual Approaches
Take a look at your school’s mission statement and your logo. Chances are good that they reflect both an academic and a spiritual component.
Inclusive education is not something you “add to your budget.” It’s an approach you embrace to help you fulfill your mission
Inclusive education benefits all students because it provides the flexibility needed to meet each individual child’s needs. A student’s life, health, and circumstances can change throughout the year. A flexible structure can support all students, regardless of what situation, diagnosis or challenge arises along the way.
Students and parents can feel afraid that having a child with disabilities in the classroom will have a negative impact on the academic progress of other students. There is no research to support this position. In fact, the research points in the opposite direction: students excel when the support systems are flexible and able to embrace each student’s changing needs. The school is structured for collaboration between support services staff and general education teachers. In that way, every student receives the support and team approach they need to succeed.
Here’s another thing we’ve noticed. All students benefit when a student with significant needs is enrolled. Again, this is because a support system, not a program, is in place. All children are supported.
Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness.Self-Control. These are the fruits of the Spirit we’re trying so hard to instill in our children. Children spend more of their waking hours in school than they do with their parents. So shouldn’t school be a place where our kids can develop these fruits?
A literature review of inclusive education found that it cultivates the following:
- Reduced fear of human differences
- Growth in social cognition
- Improvements in self-concept
- Development of moral and ethical principles
- Warm and caring friendships
There is moral richness as well as a Christ-like structure in an inclusive school body.
Grindal, Todd & Hehir, Thomas & Freeman, Brian & Lamoreau, Renee & Borquaye, Yolanda & Burke, Samantha. (2016). A Summary of the Research Evidence on Inclusive Education.